Guest Author: Christopher Ware
Iâ€™ve had my AppleTV for about two weeks now and thought I would share some of my thoughts on one of Appleâ€™s next big gadgets.
The AppleTV is tiny, just about eight inches square and an inch high, far smaller than your typical DVD player or satellite box. It looks a lot like a smaller Mac Mini. All that is included in the box is the AppleTV, the remote, and a brief setup guide.
The entire setup process takes no time at all. Wireless setup is a pretty straightforward and makes it simple to connect to networks. The only frustration that I could see is for people that purchase the unit without realizing they need to purchase the necessary cables. As I said earlier absolutely no cables are included in the box. I just canâ€™t imagine your typical user having a spare HDMI cable sitting around the house like I did.
The Good Stuff
The user interface is similar to that of Front Row. It is clean and very simple to get around. What else would you expect from Apple? Anyone familiar with Front Row or even an iPod should feel right at home with the interface.
I was initially concerned after reading some reports that the video quality was lacking, but I found the overall video and audio quality to be quite good.
AppleTV will not allow you to buy media directly from the iTunes store. You must first download content from the web or iTunes onto your computer, and then the unit will go fetch the content from your computer. I am really hoping this will change in the future to allow for direct purchasing of content through your AppleTV making things a lot easier.
Overall, the AppleTV is one beautifully designed, easy-to-use product that should be great for people who have been looking for a easy way to show all that good stuff saved on their computers, right on their television. To be completely honest, I really have been surprised how much I have enjoyed playing around with the unit. My family also got a huge kick out of seeing all of my daughterâ€™s Easter photos right there on my living room television instead of being huddled around desk staring at my computer screen. The AppleTV is great at everything it was built to do, and I can only imagine that the entire unit will gradually get better much like the iPod